My Mommy FITNESS JOURNAL workouts

Come back and check this page often to see new video updates of different workouts that I have added. (Some videos are from my training sessions with the incredible The Sweat Box, where you can hear her helpful training commentary).

my-fitness-journal-workouts

Before I go into my workouts, I would like to quickly like to discuss my motivations for working out. I think that it is important to have some kind of goal your working towards or motivation that drags your ass out of that comfy bed each morning only to slug it hard with a workout. In the comments below, please share with me what your goals or motivations are and/or what workouts you enjoy best.

My motivation for working out:

  1. To get that body confidence I had back when I was in my 20’s and modeling. Plus, my nice wardrobe options really open up when I’m not trying to hide every lump and bump.
  2. Because I pay my amazing cousin to look after my son early in the morning so I can go to the gym. If I don’t go, then that is a HUGE waste of my money! It holds me accountable when I am feeling lazy.
  3. I’m going to be trying for a baby towards the end of the year. My last pregnancy was easy (and exercising right up to full term) because I was super fit before I had my son. I am hoping to try to do the same thing.
  4. I am in a much better mood and have more energy when I have done a workout in the morning.
*Disclaimer: I'm a mother and fitness lover documenting my own favorite workout moves and my own personal research. I am not a personal trainer or qualified in any related profession. When trying out any of the exercises on this blog, you need to use common sense.  To reduce and avoid injury, you will want to check with your doctor before beginning any fitness program.  By performing any fitness exercises, you are performing them at your own risk.  www.Greyandgold.blog will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of our online fitness videos, or information shared on our website.  This includes emails, videos, and text.  Thanks for your understanding.

Abs & Obliques


PLANKS

The plank is one of the best exercises for a flat, toned stomach because it works all the muscles in your core, including the rectus abdominus (the “six-pack muscles” you can see), transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, hips, and back but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance.

CAN YOU DO IT WHILE PREGNANT? While some women can safely do planks their entire pregnancy some should skip those and do easier core exercises.  Elevated or side planks and bird dog (see description under the harder option) are probably better though.

CAN YOU DO IT POST-PARTUM? If you find that your abdominal connective tissue is still very lax, your body probably isn’t ready. That doesn’t mean planks are off the table forever. Before doing a plank again, postpartum women need to work through reconnecting with their core system and strengthening it appropriately. Start off with bird-dogs (see description below in the “harder” section. While not necessary harder strength-wise, it does involve more balance ) then move onto planks from the knees, incline planks, and finally a full front plank, increasing the time under tension slowly. You’ll know you’re ready to progress when you feel that the fascia between your abdominals is becoming denser.

  • Easy: A plank (see description below) but on your knees.
  • Medium:
    • A standard plank.  Place the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders, and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together. (Note: Any plank variations can be performed with straight arms or in a forearm position.) Increase the time as you get stronger.
    • Plank with leg or ankle raises. (See video below)

 

(Video: The SweatBox)

  • Harder:
    • Start at a plank position then raise your hips upwards, lower back to a plank position and repeat.
    • Bird-Dog: Raise your left arm out in front and your right foot up. Hold for a few seconds, then alternate. (You could even use ankle weights or elastics between both feet while raising one foot at a time). This exercise trains the body how to stabilize the lumbar spine (low back).

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS:

This is a compound exercise (one that works for multiple muscle groups), it’s efficient. Mountain Climbers works your arms, shoulders, quads, and most of all, your core. Building strength in all of your core muscles is important because the core is a major stabilizer for your body when you move, whether you’re doing a deadlift or just picking something heavy up off the ground.

CAN YOU DO IT WHILE PREGNANT? While some women can safely do planks their entire pregnancy, some should skip those and do easier core exercises.  Elevated or side planks and bird dog (see description under the harder option) are probably better though.

CAN YOU DO IT POST-PARTUM? If you find that your abdominal connective tissue is still very lax, your body probably isn’t ready. That doesn’t mean planks are off the table forever. Before doing a plank again, postpartum women need to work through reconnecting with their core system and strengthening it appropriately. Start off with bird-dogs (see description below in the “harder” section. While not necessary harder strength-wise, it does involve more balance ) then move onto planks from the knees, incline planks, and finally a full front plank, increasing the time under tension slowly. You’ll know you’re ready to progress when you feel that the fascia between your abdominals is becoming denser.

Easy: See how to do a plank under medium skill level, but do it on your knees.

Medium: 

  1. Stack your hands below your shoulders and your body in one straight line, so ensure you don’t arch your back or lift your hips too high. Make sure your neck stays in line with your body so it’s easy just to look between your hands on the ground.
  2. Quickly draw your right knee into your chest, and extend the leg back out as you drive your left knee to your chest. To raise your heart rate, run your knees in as quickly as you can.

Harder: Raise your legs up on something (e.g. a wall) to take more weight in your torso. Here are two examples of it:

 

 

 


SIDE PLANK/CRUNCH.

These exercises work core muscles including the obliques and transverse abdominis to stabilize the spine. The other primary stabilizer of this pillar, the gluteus medius, also activates to link the hips to the ab region.

While getting into the proper form is straightforward, holding the position takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core. The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance.

  • IS THIS SAFE TO DO WHILE PREGNANT? Yes, but as it gets harder and your baby grows, shorten the time or plank on your knees, a plank on an incline (something elevated like a box, table, or chair)  or planks against a wall on an incline, or, of course, a side plank. You could hold three 20-second planks with breaks rather than push through a 1-minute plank.
  • IS THIS SAFE TO DO POSTPARTUM? AVOID planks until 16 weeks postpartum.

 

  • Easy:
    • Plank: Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Lower your forearms to the floor with elbows positioned under your shoulders and your hands shoulder-width apart. If someone looked at you from the side, your arms would form a 90-degree angle. Step your feet back, one at a time. Maintain a straight line from heels through the top of your head, looking down at the floor, with gaze slightly in front of your face. Now, tighten your abs and hold. Watch out your hips don’t sag as once the hips go, your back will arch.
    • Standing up with a kettle ball (See video below) Hold a kettle ball in one arm.  Keeping your hips and knees in line with your spine, contract your core and turn on all the muscles that surround it to keep from slumping over to the side. Only when you can master this isolation hold using pristine mechanics and form do you dare to progress into a side crunch!

 

(Video: The SweatBox)

Medium: Start with a weight above your head.  Twist your torso and lower the weight to your side. Snap the weight back up to the original positioning using your obliques to power the movement. (See the video below).

 

(Video: The SweatBox)

  • Hard: The tempo side-plank crunch: This can produce loads of tension without the actual load of using weights. Balance your legs in some TRX bands. Plank with precise side-bending crunches with a slow descent of your bottom hip towards the ground and add an explosive side bend back up into neutral. (See video below)

(Video: The SweatBox)


USING SLIDERS:

OTHER AB WORKOUTS:



legs-and-glutes


WARM UP:

EASY: Star jumps with light band elastics. (Increase the strength to a medium if you have stronger legs).

BRIDGE

The bridge exercise is a great way to isolate and strengthen the gluteus (butt) muscles and hamstrings (back of the thigh). If you do this exercise correctly, you also will find that it is a good core stability and strength exercise that targets the abdominal muscles as well as the muscles of lower back and hip.

CAN YOU DO THIS WHILE PREGNANT? If you are past your first trimester or are uncomfortable on your back (e.g. you feel dizzy, light-headed or slightly nauseous) stop immediately, or try doing this in an inclined position as you’re baby is putting pressure on your aorta/vena cava vein, which returns blood flow from her lower body to her heart.

CAN YOU DO THIS POSTPARTUM? Yes, once your doctor clears you for exercise.

  • Easy: 
    1. Lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width. This will be your starting position. (See video below)
    2. Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second.
    3. Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Medium:
    • You can perform this exercise one leg at a time.
    • Use resistance bands between your knees. (See video below)

 

(Video: The SweatBox)

  • Hard:
    • Have your shoulders on a platform and lay a weight on your hips.
    • While in the bridge position, lift up one leg at a time. To make it harder, balance your leg and hands on a ball each. (See video below). I used kettle balls because I don’t have strong wrists.

 


SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS

This exercise helps improves your overall body function, strength, and performance. It improves balance, foot strength, ankle mobility, knee stability, hamstring flexibility, hip hinge ability, posture, shoulder stability, grip strength, as well as strength in the hamstrings and quadriceps. And, of course, glute strength and definition.

CAN YOU DO THIS WHILE PREGNANT? Yes, but don’t forget to engage your core, pelvic floor and keeping great posture. The risk is that you lose balance and fall over.

CAN YOU DO THIS POSTPARTUM? Yes.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.  Allow the knee of the front leg to bend slightly for greater depth, to increase recruitment in the hamstrings, quads, and glutes.and knees ‘slightly’ bent and raise one leg off the floor. Flex the knee on your standing/support leg about 15-20% to activate the glutes.
  2. Without changing the bend in your knee, bend (hinge) at your hips, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. It is important to keep the hips and shoulders square to the floor and not raise the non-working leg too high as it will cause you to over-arch your lumbar spine and lose that very important glute contraction on the back leg. Think about extending your body from the top of your head to the very tip of your heel of the back leg in a straight line. A helpful cue here is to visualize reaching with your heel to try to touch a wall behind you that is too far away for you to actually reach. By thinking about reaching behind you toward a wall, you will deepen your hinge, maintain alignment, and recruit more muscles.
  3. Briefly pause at the bottom, then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward, and raise your torso back to the starting position.

It’s best to do this barefoot if possible to improve your balance and strengthen your feet.

  • Easy: No weights.  Before adding weight, first use only your bodyweight to pattern the proper movement slowly. Practice hinging at the hip while maintaining proper alignment and tension, before adding weights.
  • Medium: Incorporate kettlebells or weights. (See video below- please note this video is combining lunges with this exercise). 

 

(Video: The SweatBox)

  • Harder: While the leg is back and your body is parallel to the floor:
    • Use an elastic and kick back the leg, or pulse the leg at the top.
    • You could lift the weights up to work your lower back.

KICKBACKS

Kickbacks are a simple but effective exercise that targets the glutes and helps to tone, tighten and strengthen your buttocks. To give your glutes a great workout, combine a set of donkey kicks with a set of fire hydrants.

IS THIS SAFE TO DO DURING PREGNANCY? Only in the first trimester. Being on the hands and knees leaves the belly unsupported as gravity puts all the weight of the organs on the already weakened connective tissue.

  • Easy:
  1. Start at a kneeling push-up position but with the arms spaced at shoulder width apart. Your head should be looking forward and the bend of the knees should create a 90-degree angle between the hamstrings and the calves. This will be your starting position.
  2. As you exhale, lift up your right leg until the hamstrings are in line with the back while maintaining the 90-degree angle bend. Contract the glutes throughout this movement and hold the contraction at the top for a second. Tip: At the end of the movement the upper leg should be parallel to the floor while the calf should be perpendicular to it.
  3. Go back to the initial position as you inhale and now repeat with the left leg
  4. Continue to alternate legs until all of the recommended repetitions have been performed.
  • Medium:
    • Do donkey kicks with weights to your ankles.
  • Harder: Start with your hands on a raised platform or chair with a straight back and knees at a 45-degree angle. Straighten one leg and cross it wide over your other foot. (See video below).

 

(Video: The SweatBox)


LEG RAISES:

EASY:

MEDIUM: Use elastics for tension. Keep your back straight and step back, step side and step forwards (slightly off to the side) and repeat the other side.

HARD: 

 


SQUATS:

Squats strengthen pretty much every muscle in your lower body, including your thighs, core, calves, glutes, hamstrings, and abs.

  • Easy: Squat. (You can add a side or front kick for an extra warm up).
  • Medium:
  • Add weights.
    • Squat to overhead press: Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them next to your shoulders. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand up and press the dumbbells directly above your shoulders. That’s one rep. (See video below)
  • Squat Jack: With your feet hip-width apart, lower your body until your knees are bent to almost 90 degrees. Explosively jump your legs outward, and then immediately jump to bring them back to starting position. That’s one rep.
  • Squat with front raise: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell at arm’s length in front of you. Lower your body as far as you can while using both arms to raise the dumbbell to shoulder height. Push yourself back to standing and lower the weight. That’s one rep.
  • Squat Jump: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Raise your arms until they are parallel with the floor. Pause, then jump as high as you can while swinging your arms back toward your sides. Land and reset. That’s one rep.
  • Slip Squat to Shoulder raise: Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides, palms facing each other. Stand in a staggered stance, your right foot in front of your left. Slowly lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push yourself back up quickly while raising your arms straight out to the sides until they’re even with your shoulders. That’s one rep.

 

(Video: The SweatBox)

  • Harder:
    • Goblet Sumo Squat: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and a mini band looped around your calves. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Keep your knees from buckling in on the way down. Pause, then push yourself back to starting position. That’s one rep.
    • Loop an elastic to your weight bar (on one side) and use your waist to control keeping the bar straight.

 

(Video: The SweatBox)

 

ARMS AND BACK- COMING SOON

 

STRETCHING:

LEGS: I have really tight legs and find it near impossible to stretch them properly, so I invented my own way to get a deeper stretch by holding heavy weights down on my knees. It has the same impact as someone pushing them down for you. I like to sit against a wall so I can keep a straight back.

 

 

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